In the 79th battle between the Oakdale and Turlock football programs, the Mustangs galloped to a 24-13 home victory on Friday, Sept. 4.
In a physical, often chippy and dramatic game, the Mustangs (2-0) outlasted the Bulldogs (1-1) at The Corral.
Oakdale’s defense flexed its muscles throughout the evening. With Turlock knocking on the door early in the first quarter, Mustang Jace Krick found himself at the right place at the right time when he scooped up a loose ball at the 38-yard line for the team’s first turnover.
Much like last year’s team that went on to win the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section championship, Oakdale’s run game proved to be too powerful, too fast and too elusive for their opponents. The Mustangs finished the game with 224 total rushing yards between Darus Nelson, Adam Olsen, Austin Burke and senior fullback Brad Aquino.
“We finish every block, and play until the whistle blows. Each of us has an assignment and we follow through,” Oakdale’s offensive lineman Zac Cordoza pointed out of the contribution the O-Line made in the team’s victory.
Aquino ran wild as he bulldozed through the Bulldogs defensive line, and their secondary. Aquino rushed for 118 yards on 28 carries, and found the end zone three times for the Mustangs. Aquino’s first touchdown came with 5:40 left in the first quarter when he plowed his way up the middle to give Oakdale a 7-0 lead. After a 33-yard field goal from Lane Trapp, Aquino crossed the goal line for the second time on a three-yard touchdown run to give Oakdale a commanding 17-0 lead with 1:14 to play in the half. Turlock countered with an impressive drive that ended with a touchdown of their own with seven seconds remaining in the half.
Turlock cut the lead to 17-13 after a one yard rushing touchdown with 8:06 to go in the third quarter.
Oakdale answered the call on the following drive when quarterback Olsen connected with receiver Greg Hickman on a 33 yard catch and run to set up Aquino’s third and final touchdown; an eight-yard rush up the middle with 5:27 left to push the Mustang lead to 11.
Oakdale’s defense stood tall with a pair of clutch interceptions in the fourth quarter by Trapp and senior defensive back Isaac Moreno, whose interception with 4:09 left in the game got the large crowd of nearly 3000 Mustang faithful to their collective feet.
“We knew as a defense that we needed to go out there and get a stop. Our defensive line helped out a lot. They applied the pressure and forced him to throw the ball in my direction,” said Moreno of picking off the Bulldog passer.
Oakdale has an extra day to prep for their next game, as the team will host the Bears of Menlo-Atherton (0-1) on Saturday, Sept. 12 with a 7 p.m. start time.
The young JV Mustangs lost to Turlock in a nailbiter, 21-14. Oakdale (1-1) looks to bounce back when they clash with Menlo-Atherton on Saturday evening. Game time is 5 p.m.
Oakdale’s youngest team saw its early season woes continue as they fell to the Bulldogs 22-8 at home. Cameron Olsen scored the team’s lone touchdown, as the youngster powered his way from just inside the one yard line with 10 seconds remaining in the first half. Oakdale converted on a two point conversion to give them an 8-7 halftime advantage. Oakdale’s frosh squad will be on a bye this week and return to the gridiron on Thursday night, Sept. 17 when they saddle up and travel to Los Banos.